MBA 128gb SSD with Win7

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by Nocturne, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. Nocturne macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2011
    Hey all, I've been trying to make a decision between the 128gb and 256gb version of the 13inch MBA 2011 for school, but I don't know if the additional cost for the 256gb MBA is really justified. But I'm really worried that space will be a constraint, and also the fact that I'll probably want to use this for at least 3-4 years. I'm also looking to get Parallels along with it.

    Now, the thing is: I don't think I'll be using Windows much; I guess it'll only be for running some applications (Windows-based Office seem to be a requirement) and using various platforms for school that is only supported in Windows. Will 128gb be enough? Of course, I'll be getting an external HDD (500gb, or 1TB maybe) too.

    Perhaps 128gb users with Win 7 here can share their experiences? :)
  2. turbotoes macrumors regular

    Nov 24, 2010
    My 128gb is devided up 90 gb for lion (50gb free) and 30 for windows 7 (12gb free). I also have a tiny 32gb usb key plugged 24/7 where my data is stored. I keep my iTunes library on my iPhone.

    The MBA is not my main computer, but is used as a mobile diagnostics platform for my computer repair business, I use lion as the main os with office for mac installed, Photoshop CS5, about a gb of utilities and a couple of games.

    The windows partition has 7 + updates and a couple of gb of utilities.

    This setup works for me, but as I said it's not my main pc.

    If you keep your bulky data on usb drives (flash or other) and don't fill the HD with trash programs you should be ok for space. Though you probably need to decide which OS you intend to use most and prioritise partitions accordingly.
    Initially I split 50/50 and soon realized that was not going to work, to tight for the main OS and to much slack on the secondary.

    Hope that helps a bit.

  3. Nocturne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2011
    Thanks for your input! Yes, I'll likely be going with 90/30gb as well if I get the 128gb. It's still a tough decision though, because this is going to be my main pc for 4 years or so!

    Besides school, I guess I'll be using it for some casual photography as well, like using Lightroom and CS5. I really don't want to regret being constrained by the amount of space, but the cost is difference is :eek: Really love the portability of the MBA too.
  4. scarred macrumors 6502a

    Jul 24, 2011
    I opted for the 128GB version, thinking it would be enough. And so far so good.

    But honestly, I wish I had just spent the extra money and gotten the 256GB version. I love this Macbook Air, but I feel a bit tethered to be home network where I can access my NAS. That is where I keep my videos, and other large files

    I had been waiting for some thunderbolt drives to convince me I did the right thing, but alas, that hasn't helped. Those drives, GB for GB, are no cheaper then the 256GB upgrade.

    My advice... Hold your nose and upgrade now. You'll thank yourself later...
  5. tbobmccoy macrumors 6502a


    Jul 24, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'd go for the 256gb, myself. I was in a similar boat, and while you can always connect USB drives to supplement space and whatnot, not having to worry about space as much helps. I downgraded my drive size from a 500GB HDD, so shrinking down to 256GB was tough enough; I don't think I could have dealt with much less. Of course, it's your 300 bucks :D
  6. fibrizo macrumors 6502


    Jan 23, 2009
    I have the 11 inch air, and was too cheap/poor to get the 256gb... so I have the 128gb again, which does the job, but I did the following...

    I gave the mac partition 45gb... and the windows partition the rest... which was about 75.5gb (There is some space taken by recovery) I do use windows significantly less than mac os, but here's what I do and why.

    1. Mac OS doesn't bloat as much.
    2. Windows is larger to install and tends to grow more
    3. I installed Paragon NTFS for mac os, and store my itunes library on the windows partition.

    I do this because with NTFS I can access files I am working on in either OS with read and write capability. I can also use my itunes library in Windows as well as mac OS.

    4. I also purchased this

    It doesn't really stick out much on my 11 inch, but on a 13 inch you could just get a full size 32 gb card for cheap and leave it in the SD slot for more movies/media etc
  7. elwood58 macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2010
    I had the MBA 11 and used it in a couple of different configurations with Windows. I original split the 128 SSD up as 90/30 and used bootcamp. It worked fine, with the cloud providing the ability to store some things I did not want to carry around on the SSD. I then loaded up VMWare Fusion, and was very happy with the speed and performance. I especially liked Unity Mode, which allowed me to very transparently host Windows applications, even parking key icons in the Dock. I ultimately killed the Bootcamp partition, and opted to just create a new virtual machine. This works very well, in that the size of the storage can be adjusted dynamically.

    Managing a 128 SSD is very manageable. I recently bought the new 2011 MBA 13, and opted for the 256 SSD, as the upgrade seemed fairly inexpensive for the doubling of storage.
  8. Nocturne thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 22, 2011
    Seems like 128gb is actually pretty sufficient for most dual OS users!

    Honestly 128gb is an upgrade for me; I'm (sadly still) using an Acer that only has 103.9gb worth of usable space. Its lasted me for a good 4+ years and I'm thinking of jumping to the MBA now for its portability and speed.

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